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Game Development Dictionary


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  Term Name Description


Formally "WDL". C-style programming langauge used in Conitec's game developing kit "3D GameStudio", available at http://www.3dgamestudio.com

Carmack's Reverse

Refers to a modification to Heidmann's original stenciled shadow volumes technique generally attributed to John Carmack, although others came up with the same modification at about the same time. Rather than incrementing and decrementing for the front and back faces (respectively) when the depth test passes, the method increments for back faces and decrements for front faces when the depth test fails. This prevents shadow volumes from being clipped by the near plan, but introduces the problem of them being clipped by the far plane.

You can find out more about the algorithm here.


A DirectX 2D, 3D and sound wrapper with some very simple game basics such as tile/map support for 2D and sprite movement. (WWW)


Content Management System: A backend portal system which assists in the management (creation, deletion and modification) of content on web pages. Some examples are PHPNuke or GeekLog.


Short for Compressor/Decompressor. The name used for libraries that will compress and uncompress data in various kinds of ways, such as video and audio.

Collision Detection

A process of determining if two objects have collided by testing their bounds or a spatial overlap.


See Collision Detection.


A program that translates a computer language into object code which can then be assembled into machine language. This is necessary for programming in all high level languages (like C/C++ and Pascal) which are not interpreted (like BASIC).

crunch mode

The last phase of development when people work day and night to complete the project on time.


Concurrent Versioning System: A system for managing simultaneous development of files. It is in common use in large programming projects, and is also useful to system administrators, technical writers, and anyone who needs to manage files. More info at http://www.cvshome.org/


Direct3D. Part of the API DirectX for Windows, it handles 3D rendering.


Basic based lenguage made by The Games Creator which features easy direct 3d use provided by his functions


Debugging is the process of tracking and eliminating errors or bugs from your source code.


A visual development environment created by Borland/Inprise, based on Object Pascal. Intended for use in Rapid Application Development.


A popular free IDE (Integrated Develpment Environment) for varius C++ compilers. Comes packaged with the MinGW compiler but can be used with almost any command-line compiler.


A 3D API developed by Micosoft and part of the DirectX SDK. Contains two modes, one working at a higher level but slower which is Retained Mode, and a lower level, faster version called Immediate Mode. (WWW)

See OpenGL, Glide.


The initial API needed to manipulate anything regarding graphics through the DirectX API. Includes functions on setting the screen size and resolution. (WWW)


The API needed to closely access hardware through Windows, such as the keyboard, mouse, joysticks and joypads. (WWW)


The API needed to connect over networks through DirectX. (WWW)


The API developed for easily playing media such as AVIs and MPEGs. (WWW)


The API needed to play sounds through DirectX. (WWW)


A package of APIs developed by Microsoft to give developers greater control in developing applications for Windows. Individual APIs can normally be distinguished by having the prefix of Direct, as in DirectSomething. (WWW)


A freeware C++ compiler for DOS created by DJ Delorie.


Dynamic Link Library. Used to contain code that can be ran from executable but does not have to be compiled each time, practical to distributing abstracted functions.

Emergent Behavior

Behavior that was not explicitly designed but occurs from the existing routines. Usually implemented by defining simple rules that allow some overlapping.